Case Study

louis vuitton luggage

OK guys, I need your help. I wanted to conduct a little survey of sorts on here because I’ve been obsessively researching (as I tend to do) and I’m having a hard time finding like minded ladies’ opinions on this topic across the general internets. Here’s the deal: I’m heading to Italy in a couple of weeks (eee!), and I’m in need of new luggage. I’m in hardcore shopping mode and I’m all over the place between the cheapest and pricier options. I feel like a suitcase is one of those coming of age purchases. Since it does take a beating over time, it’s normal to go through luggage fairly frequently, having to say goodbye to the one the TSA has battered and abused for the past few years, and move on to something new. While the fact that luggage gets so beat up is a reason not to spend a lot, at the same time there is nothing worse than a suitcase breaking on you mid-trip. I know because it’s happened to me with every piece of luggage I’ve ever owned, and it makes me SO ANGRY. Ok maybe that’s also because I’m usually hungry and tired while it’s happening, but still. THE WORST. I’ve never splurged on luggage but I’m considering stepping it up from the cheapest of the cheap for this next purchase. What kind of luggage do you use? Hard side or soft side? Cheap-o or splurgey? I’m considering going middle-of-the-road. Not the cheapest, but not $800 either. And I’m REALLY into the white hard side cases, regardless of how silly that may be. It’s just so chic, and I don’t mind putting in a little work to keep it clean. Has anyone owned a white suitcase? I’m dying to know your luggage experience and tips ladies, so please do share!

Case Study

Victorinox / Globe Trotter / Rimowa / Mandarina Duck / Tumi / Louis Vuitton / Ben Minkoff / DVF / Samsonite


  1. When I was in Italy, I stocked up on Mandarina Duck. It was more affordable over there and you can get the taxes taken off. I would take your old luggage over and replace it there.

    1. thelifestyled 09/09/2014

      I love the tax free thing! We already threw an old suitcase away after it broke so we have to buy one before we leave but I’ll definitely look further into what Mandarina Duck has to offer. Thanks!

  2. That DVF is making me feel all the emotions.
    I was given a hard case carry on recently and I rather like it, but the only problem I have with my specific one is the lack of side handle. I also have that Samsonite in both carry on and full size and it’s SUPER. It’s really roomy, not bulky/heavy and durable.

    1. thelifestyled 09/09/2014

      I know. It’s so good but it’s sooo cheap. It’s made of plastic instead of polycarbanate which means it probably wont last worth a damn. Not cool. Our other one is a soft side Samsonite and it’s pretty good, but I think I would really like to give the hardside a go. That’s what she said.

  3. Ashley 09/09/2014 Reply

    I would go for the Mandarina Duck luggage if your old bags are breaking and won’t make it! I think the white suitcase are chic as well but not very practical. Think about this are you really going to want to clean your suitcase every time you ? Anyway who is going to see your bag say the people at the check in counter and the people who throw bags on the plane?? Go for a darker color!

    1. thelifestyled 09/09/2014

      I know, you’re probably right. If I could see an example of a white suitcase that has held up after a few trips, that would be nice. But there are no pictures of used white suitcases online anywhere. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You are definitely the voice of reason…

  4. Uh, the DVF. Just clean it with a magic eraser when you get home. No biggy. I feel like you can use the for crazy big Italy-esque trips and Airbnb not too far away but still need luggage trips.

    1. thelifestyled 09/09/2014

      I know, it’s so good which is why I HAD to include it in this roundup, BUT it’s made of the cheapest materials (plastic) and I don’t think it’s going to make it very far. I wish they had made it a little nicer, because I would have gladly paid more.

  5. Hi Catherine- so exciting about your Italy trip!

    I invested in a fantastic set of hard-sided light pink luggage a few years back that traveled with me back and forth across the US multiple times, both carrying on and checking. While I was (and still am) totally in love with the look and with the protection provided by the hard sides, it became too impractical. I too had planned on cleaning the cases with each trip, but I found that the type of plastic used to make them had just enough rough texture that scrubbing out the bumps and scrapes was impossible. In addition to that, many of the scrapes were also gouges as well, so even if I had luck cleaning the dirt, there still would have been a big scratch left on the finish.

    Carrying on was definitely easier on the hard plastic, but I often had quite a bit of trouble fitting a hard sided carry on into the tiny compartments above the seats- it became just as frustrating but in a different way.

    Eventually I picked up one of the Samsonite bags you show on your options (in dark purple). It’s not quite as glamorous, but for me it has worked beautifully. My advice is to go with something like that for your Italy trip. (I will add thought that one of my dream purchases is a great Louis Vuitton duffle like the one you show as well…)

    Have a great vacation!

    1. thelifestyled 09/09/2014

      Hi Lindsay! I was wondering if that would be the case, where you can’t really get the scratches or stains off. You wonder what the heck the luggage carriers do to our stuff to get them so beat up!! I do want to save my pennies for a Louis Vuitton carry-on because that will be in my possession and therefor safe from hardcore damage. Thanks for your tips!

  6. we have 2 victorinox spectras (always on sale at zappos!) – a small carry on and the expanded carry on. i swear by them. i never have issues getting them into a compartment on the plane and can fit so much more stuff in them than i could in my old soft sided delsey. and they are light enough that i can lift them over my head all on my own, which is saying a lot for me! they aren’t perfect, but we’ve probably gotten both for under $200/each and with as much as we use them, i’ve been pleased with their quality! i LOVE rimowa but have heard such mixed messages about their quality that I couldn’t justify it.

  7. I have the Samsonite in black…because New York…but I love it!! I have the smaller carryon size as well as the medium! Once you use 4 wheels you can never go back to 2! I got the medium at Lord and Taylor on major sale at around $200.

    Enjoy your trip!!

  8. I have the Tumi vapor international carry on, like what you have shown but a smaller model in a rose gold color. I love it. In fact, I used it for a trip to Italy last year! I travel frequently stateside and it is my go to as it can take a beating. Tumi also has a fairly generous warranty if something strange were to happen. With all that said, I would love to get a Rimowa next. Best of luck in your decision and safe travels.

  9. I travel quite a bit, a few international trips a year and a couple of domestic trips each month. I have the Samsonite spinner carry on that is my go-to for most trips and it does a great job holding up. I also don’t stress about replacing it every few years. I’ve had it maybe 3-4 years and it’s still doing good, probably because I’m the one handling it. I also have the medium size Samsonite spinner for longer trips (because if I got the large size I would ALWAYS go over the weight limit! The medium is perfect) While I like the size I don’t think it’s good to do soft sides in anything other than a carry on as it gets worn a lot faster. Checked bags get beat up! I think I’ll go for a more sturdy hard shell in that size next time, probably a tumi since they’re a good brand and a good price point. Good luck!

  10. I second the previous commenter’s suggestion of Mandarina Duck. I LOVE that brand, and they make some durable stuff.

    Second, I have the Samsonite spinner – and I actually got it (in black) at Costco for a great deal. Not the chicest, but certainly the sturdiest bag I’ve ever owned.

  11. Ok I just wanted to weigh in as well… until I bought my Samsonite luggage I had every single luggage I owned break on me too! So for this reason I’m in LOVE with Samsonite. They have a wonderful warranty, and like sara said you can get this brand at Costco for a steal. I will never buy another luggage brand again!
    I hope you have a wonderful trip!!